Our Thinking Has Come Along Way, or Has It?In part 1 of this 3 part blog series, as the title alludes to, I wanted to highlight how some of the general consensus around health, fitness & how the body actually works has evolved – and perhaps where it has yet to.
AB Machines and Sit-Ups
In this part I wanted to specifically address our nemeses – the common ‘AB Machine’ (“absolutist completest crapious”). Needless to say, as we put the ARC-NRG PushUp against this product category, as ‘a better mouse trap’, we are anti-AB Machine. Well to be more accurate, we are against how AB Machines have typically been marketed, and the misconceptions motivating people’s purchasing decisions.
This is certainly a story to highlight an area where our thinking has not evolved, as for the facts on this topic, a vast majority of us are still in the dark ages – and that’s how the body uses, or burns fat for fuel during exercise. Many still think that you train your problem area for fat loss; the worst example being; got a fat stomach – train the abs! Wrong, wrong, wrong! You work muscle in resistance exercise, you don’t work fat. Burning fat is a positive side-effect of working the muscle, AND you don’t get to decide where that fat is burnt from - it’s NOT localized to the muscles you’re working, the body will take fat from all over and dump it into your blood stream to be burnt or used as fuel.
While there’s a big misconception over this, it’s not all our fault. For years, in order to sell products, specifically AB Machines, some companies have been keeping this myth alive, and with their sexy before and after shots of 6-packed beauties, we lapped it up.
Training Only Your Abs Could Actually Make you Look a Little Fatter
Truth is, if you’re carrying a layer of fat around your stomach, training only your Abs is actually going to make you look a little fatter! That’s because Ab exercises, while providing muscle contractions and resistance, are isolated exercises, meaning you’re only working one muscle group, and the Abs is a small muscle group at that! So you are barely burning any calories (or fat) doing these exercises. Result; if you do manage to build these muscles up, which lie underneath that layer of belly fat, you’re still likely to have that layer of fat, only now it’s been pushed out further due to the pumped ab muscles underneath!
It’s not that I’m saying don’t train your Abs, a strong core is important, but the only people who should be training their Abs in this way are ones wanting to go from (already) trim and taut, to cut & ripped.
Switch on Your Core When Resistance Training
To focus purely on working your Abs as a strategy for burning fat and weight loss, is a waste of time.
If you’re doing resistance training, no matter what the exercise, you should be focusing on correct form and that means switching on your core whether you’re doing bicep curls or squats.
By the way, you know what’s promoted as one of the best exercises for you’re your Abs? Safer and more effective that the sit up? It’s the Plank! Basically the position you’re holding as you engage your core and work out on the ARC-NRG PushUp! The ARC-NRG PushUp – best Push Up machine ever? Or best AB machine ever, as it works your Arms, Shoulders, Chest & Back at the same time!